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Singapore shares close lower as HK, China indices and Dow futures slide
AFTER a short-covering bounce on Thursday morning that gave a mistaken semblance of stability because it added 30 points to the Straits Times Index (STI), pressure returned in force during the afternoon session, leaving the STI 27.07 points worse off at 2,532.70 at 5pm.
Turnover remained elevated at 1.2 billion units worth S$1.4 billion and, excluding warrants, there were 127 rises versus 288 falls. Of the total volume traded, just over S$1 billion was generated by the 30 STI components.
Over in North Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index plunged 3.2 per cent, taking 1.8 per cent off the Hang Seng Index, while a weak session for the Dow futures indicated Wall Street would likely remain depressed on Thursday. At 5pm, the March contract was trading at a 120-point loss.
Brokers said the volatility spike of the past few weeks and the unpredictability of the China market was making it impossible to say when the selling might end.
Banks had a mixed outing, with DBS and OCBC ending with losses but with UOB rising. Over in the oil and gas sector, the performance of the heavyweights was also mixed - Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Industries fell but Sembcorp Marine rose.